People considering cosmetic dentistry often get caught up on the appearance of a few teeth. Usually, people have complaints about the appearance of the most visible parts of their smile, such as the upper incisors. And when they decide to get a smile makeover, they may just get treatment that improves the appearance of these central teeth.
But if you’re considering a smile makeover, you have to remember to get treatments that make your entire smile look good–not just improve the appearance of a few select teeth.
The Big Stars Take Center Stage
It’s easy to see why people focus on the big stars of your smile. The wide flat surfaces of the maxillary incisors (central upper teeth) take up the most visual space in your smile–50% or more of the total tooth width you display. But like any great star, their success also depends on the success of the supporting players, and if you neglect these other teeth, your smile may end up looking unattractive, even if the central teeth look great.
Buccal Corridor Distractions
Your smile isn’t just made up of the teeth, it’s also made up of the spaces around the teeth, and managing these spaces is important to achieving a beautiful smile. Two of the most prominent spaces in your smile are the buccal corridors. This is what dentists call the hollow spaces between your teeth and cheeks at either end of your smile.
A buccal corridor that is too full can make your smile seem toothy. On the other hand, if your buccal corridor is too empty, it can make it look as though you’re missing teeth, even if they’re all technically there.
To a great extent, the appearance of your buccal corridors is determined by the shape of your arches. This makes functional orthodontics a great approach for dealing with this issue–it can reshape your arches to improve the health of your bite and the appearance of your smile.
Most people will notice the central teeth in your smile, when all the other teeth also look good. But just as an outstanding performance from a supporting actor can draw attention away from the stars, teeth in the back or sides of your smile can steal the show.
This is especially likely if those back teeth are badly discolored because of trauma, decay, or older restorations. Ironically, the most scene stealing thing your back teeth can do is to just not show up. Missing teeth will always draw attention, no matter where they were.
A Harmonious Appearance
When your smile is full of teeth that are unattractive, we have to make tough decisions about the kind of result we are trying to achieve. We can decide to:
- Match front teeth to unattractive side or back teeth
- Allow mismatch between front and back teeth
- Restore front and back teeth to create a uniform, attractive appearance
Few people would want a smile makeover to achieve the first goal. We might be able to get away with the second goal in some cases, depending on how significant the mismatch is, but it limits the appearance of the smile. So, most people will want to pursue the third goal. And this is, really, the best approach to achieving the best results from your smile makeover.
Don’t Obsess over Any Individual Tooth
When it comes to getting the best results from your cosmetic dentistry, it’s critical to never focus so much on any one or any few teeth that it keeps you from seeing the whole of your smile. If you do, you’ll likely be unhappy with the results and need to come back for additional treatment.
The counsel of an expert cosmetic dentist can guide you to decide which is the best approach for achieving a wholly beautiful smile. To talk to expert cosmetic dentist Dr. Marlen Martirossian, please call 201-343-4044 today for an appointment at the River Edge Dental Center for General & Cosmetic Dentistry.